Education as the foundation of the future of work
The changing world of work. To be part of it requires lifelong learning.
IF – 11/2019
depends to a large extent on the skills possessed by its workers. The better the
training and further education, the greater the chance of meeting the needs of
the labour market in a changing world of work. The influence of digitalisation
demands a willingness to compensate for potential skills deficits through
vocational training in order to guarantee European competitiveness in the long
The role of policymakers
is the reason why the European Ministers for Social Affairs discussed the topic
of lifelong learning at their council meeting on 23 October 2019. The current
Finnish Presidency believes that the Member States should devote more attention
to this issue given that both the needs of the labour market and qualification
requirements have changed.
society changes, so too do the demands that work and everyday life place on
each individual. Lifelong learning requires a personal willingness to face
changing conditions in all areas of life, to remain inquisitive, and to
actively shape one’s personal and social environment.
The right to education and training
The right to education
and training as well as the right to receive help with vocational training is
embedded in the European Pillar of
Social Rights. New forms of work in
particular require new skills which help to promote social inclusion and
participation in the labour force until retirement and beyond. Ongoing changes
require policymakers to formulate new solutions and then create the necessary
Strategic approach at European level
basis for the Ministers’ meeting was a discussion paper which identified investment in education and training as one of the most
important ways of boosting competitiveness, productivity and social inclusion
in Europe. In the future, there should be a stronger focus on lifelong learning
in the EU. It was noted, for example, that large companies are more likely to
participate in lifelong learning than small and medium-sized enterprises.
A summary of the debate
prepared by the Finnish Presidency will provide input for the work of the next
European Commission. A more strategic and coordinated approach to lifelong
learning is essential in the European Union. Raising awareness and the
importance of individual training will also be a priority for the Croatian
Presidency in the first half of 2020. The process will continue to be deepened
at European level.